The context and scope of this project

Rationale
Legal preparedness forms part of effective disaster risk governance and disaster risk reduction. Ensuring that effective laws on disaster risk management are in place prior to disaster events saves lives and mitigates losses to the economy and the environment.  The  South East Asia region is unique in that it is bound by the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) that guides legal preparedness for disasters at the regional level. While AADMER is a regional treaty, most of its provisions are intended to be implemented at the level of the Member State and are within the purview of the Member State’s primary responsibility.

Support from IFRC Disaster Law Programme
The IFRC’s Disaster Law Programme advocates for legal preparedness globally and has offered its expertise and support to ACDM in establishing a peer learning platform and undertaking a  disaster law mapping.  IFRC has been assisting National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support their authorities in developing and applying state-of-the-art disaster- related legislation, policies and procedures for almost fifteen years. It has conducted in-depth research and desk reviews in 63 countries globally and has provided technical support in the drafting and revision of 24 Disaster Risk Management laws and associated policies. IFRC disaster law initiatives have been taking place in South East Asia since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and over  this time has worked with 7 ASEAN member states on their revision, or development of their relevant laws and policies, as well as conducted 10 comprehensive research projects in partnership with governments and National Societies in 8 ASEAN countries.

Proposed Activities
Given this, the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), under the leadership of Lao PDR, has agreed to establish a peer learning platform to facilitate exchange of best practice on  disaster risk governance among ASEAN Member States (MS), and on the development and implementation of domestic disaster law and policy under the AADMER framework.  This peer platform would provide the opportunities for shared learning between ASEAN Member States, as well as facilitation of research and case studies.

To provide an evidence base and documentation of the peer learning platform and its future activities, there is a need to map domestic disaster laws and create an evidence base for assessing AADMER provisions’ institutionalization in domestic legal frameworks.  The disaster law mapping project forms part of the cross-cutting strategy of institutionalizing the AADMER, considered as one of the six buildings blocks of the AADMER Work Programme 2016-2020.  It also falls under AADMER Priority Programme 3 on Advance, specifically Component 1 on “strengthening institutional capacity and policy frameworks for effective implementation of DRR and CCA actions.”

  1. To establish peer learning mechanism among ASEAN MS to facilitate the exchange of information, experiences, and best practices on disaster risk management under the AADMER framework;
  2. To provide an evidence-base for identifying and addressing good practices, gaps and challenges in the implementation of the AADMER provisions in the domestic legal frameworks of Member States; and
  3. To continue to support Lao PDR as ACDM Chair in its legal review of its domestic DRR/CCA law and ensure that the law will support implementation of AADMER provisions on DRR, climate change, preparedness and response in Lao PDR.​

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Outcome 1: An established ASEAN Peer Learning Platform on disaster law and legal preparedness positively contributes to the implementation of the AADMER in domestic legal frameworks
Outputs:
1.    Established means for Disaster Law Peer Learning and exchanges among ASEAN MS
2.    Provide an initial report on reflections and implementation of first Disaster Law Peer Platform activity in support of Lao PDR.Outcome 2: ASEAN research, evidence base and decision relevant tools on disaster law and policy are strengthened.
Outputs: 
1.    Mapping and assessment of disaster laws and policies among ASEAN MS, in relation to the implementation of AADMER.
2.    Present initial assessment and recommendations of the legal mapping.

Disaster preparedness and response laws and policies of ASEAN MS in relation to Part IV (Disaster Preparedness) and Part V (Emergency Response) of the AADMER

​Note: This initial phase is a first step towards an overall mapping of and peer learning on domestic disaster laws that implement AADMER provisions in domestic legal frameworks.